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Heritage Auto’s Tips for Winterizing your Vehicle

Heritage Auto’s Tips for Winterizing your Vehicle

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas in Meridian, Idaho!

Here in Meridian, Idaho, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Our annual Winter Lights Parade and Tree Lighting is this coming Friday.  This is always followed by the hustle and bustle of holiday events in Meridian that are saturated by love, togetherness and family that makes Meridian the charming community so many have come to love.  Don’t hesitate to join in Christmas in Meridian  events, such as shopping at our Twilight Christmas Market, mailing a letter at Santa’s Mailbox or an evening out at the Meridian Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concert.  The magic of Christmas is all around us.

It’s Also Beginning to Snow!

Just as the Winter Parade is arriving this week, so is the first snow expected to sprinkle our lovely valley.  The dainty flakes floating from the sky ignite excitement in the kids, and the kids at heart, like myself.  Dreams of the first snowman, sledding at our own Kleiner Park and the arrival of Christmas begin to dance in our head.  But if you are new to Idaho, or you are a native who get’s too carried away with the coming winter wonderland, you may forget about the practical preparations that come with winter temperatures. By now your sprinklers should have been blown out and your home winterized.  Do you have a winter coat, layers of clothing to keep you warm, and a good pair of mittens and boots?  Lastly, is your vehicle ready for winter?

Is Your Vehicle Ready for Winter?

As you may expect, our human nature often has us procrastinate until the first snow flies.  Your vehicle readiness is the last thing on your mind,, when Thanksgiving and football are taking the stage!  There is no doubt that cold temperatures are hard on your vehicle.  There are several things that you can do to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter.  Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Many people apply this to health, but Franklin actually used the quote in regards to fire safety, according to USHistory.org.  Just as we apply this saying to health, and Franklin used it for fire safety, it certainly is accurate in the auto repair world.  Therefore, we recommend an “Ounce of prevention” in regard to your vehicle as we approach winter weather.

1.  Test Your Battery

Cold weather can be tough on your battery.  A simple test can show the strength and reserve capacity of your battery.  Why is this important?  Popular Mechanics explains it like this,

“Winter is tough on batteries for two main reasons. The engines are far harder to turn over because all the oil inside them has turned to molasses. This demands much more current from a battery, and to add insult to injury, that battery cannot produce its normal amount of energy because of the cold. ”  – Popular Mechanics

One of our certified technicians can also check your battery cables and connections and do a battery service, if needed, to clean off any corrosion that may be happening over time.

2.  Check Your Fluids for Compatibility with our Idaho Weather

Most fluids such as oil, brake fluid and transmission fluid are on manufacturers recommendations to be checked at regular intervals.  Coolant, also called anti-freeze, is especially important to check as the seasons change.  This fluid will keep your engine from freezing as temperatures drop.  At Heritage Auto Repair we do a winter inspection to verify that the “freeze point” of your anti-freeze is acceptable for our Idaho weather.  Oil is also important to check, as cold weather can cause it to thicken and not work as efficiently.  This information is simple to get and critical to have right.  Without correct coolant, you risk the engine freezing and suffering damage as temperatures plunge.

3.  Check Your Tires and Get Snow Tires

Tire pressure can vary with temperature changes.  It is important that your tire pressure is tested and set at proper standards to ensure the best performance on winter roads.  You will also want to make sure your tires have appropriate traction for the conditions. It’s also very important that your tires are appropriate for the weather. Pick up some snow tires at your local auto center, body or repair shop.

4.  Wiper Blades and Windshield Washer Fluid

By now, you probably have driven in rain, snow or slush.  With more moisture on the way, you will want to make sure you have a good windshield wiper fluid and wiper blades that are up to the job ahead of them.

5.  Exterior Lights

Nothing is worse in a winter storm, than not being able to see the road ahead of you.  Therefore, you will want to have your exterior head lights, blinkers, brake lights and fog lights in working order.

Finally, there may be additional recommendations, such as a cabin air filter if contaminants from the summer and fall have plugged your filter, or spark plug wires that can become cracked and compromised.  So the above list is not exhaustive, but it is a good start.  Additionally, AAA suggests that you always carry a basic safety kit, blanket, water and food in your vehicle for use in the case of an emergency.

We hope you enjoy a safe and joyous arrival of winter!

Get our coupon for a Winter Inspection and find our other seasonal offers on our website.

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